People who have an interest in sports, but more talent for organization and management than athletic ability, are especially good candidates to pursue a degree in sports administration. A bachelor's degree program in sports administration integrates concepts from business administration, health and athletics to prepare students for an array of supporting roles in the sports industry. Graduates can pursue mid-management or coordinator positions in schools, camps, sports marketing companies or fitness centers.
A master's degree program in sports administration addresses the financial, managerial, organizational, promotional and legal challenges of administering a sports facility, sports program or recreation program. Sports administration curricula are structured to provide practical experience through internships and a theoretical and conceptual foundation through academic courses in marketing and promotion, media relations, organizational structure and finance. Senior management positions in sports marketing firms, sports manufacturing companies, consulting firms, professional sports organizations or sports agencies could be explored by those holding a master's degree in sports administration.
Bachelor's Degree in Sports Administration
Event management, facility management, marketing and sports law are among the relevant topics addressed in a 4-year degree program's curriculum. Many programs require completion of an internship or practicum. Some allow students to choose a concentration, such as coaching.
A high school diploma or GED is the primary admission requirement for a bachelor's degree program. Additional requirements may include taking a semester of undergraduate general education courses and passing with at least a 'C' average.
English, accounting, economics and courses in the arts and humanities may be part of the general education component of a bachelor's degree program. Courses specific to sports administration might include:
- Sports administration introduction
- Kinesiology introduction
- Sports psychology
- Health and recreation program planning
- Sports law and ethics
Master's Degree in Sports Administration
At the master's level, students can expect to take courses emphasizing upper management responsibilities and organizational leadership. Some programs offer a dual degree option in business administration and sports administration or law and sports administration. A master's degree is typically earned in two years.
Applicants to a sports administration master's degree program need to have completed a bachelor's degree with a grade point average from 2.7-3.0. The degree may be in any subject, but some programs may require enrollees to take business courses if their degree wasn't in a business-related subject.
The core component of a master's degree program may feature business administration courses with a sports emphasis. Students are required to complete a practicum and take electives like sports administration research or modern sports issues. Sports administration courses may include:
- Sports marketing and promotion
- Contract negotiation
- Media relations
- Sports finance and fundraising
- College and professional sports
- Sports research and statistics
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a bachelor's program in sports management have leadership, problem-solving, management, communication and critical-thinking skills that are necessary to work in the sports industry. Possible employment opportunities for bachelor's degree holders include:
- High school coach
- Facility manager
- Assistant athletic director
- Event coordinator
- Sports camp director
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Earning a master's degree in sports administration qualifies degree holders for a range of high-level positions in school athletics, professional athletics and recreation management. Over the 2014-2024 decade, employment of recreation workers will grow 10% (faster than average for all occupations), and employment of college and university athletic directors - categorized as postsecondary education administrators - will grow 9%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov.).
According to Payscale.com, most recreation supervisors earned $31,827-$62,563 per year as of October 2016, while most parks and recreation directors earned salaries of $32,207-$96,439 and athletic directors earned $36,452-$95,901 per year.
Continuing Education Information
The highest level positions related to sports administration are more likely to go to candidates who have earned a master's degree. A broad selection of schools offer master's degree programs in sports administration. Some offer MBA programs with a sports management focus.
Sports administration degree programs at both the bachelor's and master's levels give students training in the fields of business and organizational management. Some bachelor's degree graduates can take such jobs as high school coaches or facility managers, while others may pursue master's degrees to prepare for employment in high-level management and administration positions.